SIX BITS: Purifoy, Floyd, Reed, Gillislee, Tebow

1 » Florida Gators sophomore cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy is no longer being charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana after the State Attorney’s Office dismissed his case due to lack of evidence. According to Gainesville, FL attorney Huntley Johnson, who spoke with The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu, “[Purifoy] never had any marijuana on him, therefore he was not guilty of possession of marijuana.” Purifoy was in the back seat of a blue Honda that was pulled over at 12:05 a.m. on Feb. 7 for a right-of-way violation. Upon pulling the car over, a Gainesville Police officer found “cannabis residue” on the pants of someone in the car and noticed someone throw “a cannabis cigarette out the window.” The officer later noticed “a baggie containing 2.5 grams of cannabis” by the emergency brake. All four passengers had been charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.

2 » Mike Jensen of The Philadelphia Inquirer penned a feature on Gators defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd that ran in Monday’s newspaper. Focused on Floyd looking back at his “hardscrabble Philly childhood,” it provides a bit more detail on what head coach Will Muschamp said to the player when they met concerning his potential departure from Florida one year early. “I sat down after the season with my coaches – before I said anything, they said, ‘Go, go into the draft this year; you had a hell of a year.’” Floyd also discusses problems he had at home. “I found out my father wasn’t my father, so I moved out, because of the way I was treated growing up,” he said. “I was abused. I’ve pretty much been beaten with everything you can think of, at a young age. On punishment for nothing. I remember I got beat for not getting in the shower fast enough.”

Check out four more Florida football BITS…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Purifoy, Floyd, Reed, Gillislee, Tebow

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10 Florida Gators invited to 2013 NFL Combine

OGGOA has learned that 10 former Florida Gators players have been officially invited to participate in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 20-26, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance (including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staffs) look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2013 NFL Draft commences on April 25.

The 10 former Gators student-athletes invited to the combine include:

Linebacker Jon Bostic – Group: 9 | Camp: LB04
Safety Matt Elam – Group 10 | Camp: DB12
Safety Josh Evans – Group 10 | Camp: DB13
Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd – Group: 7 | Camp: DL11
Running back Mike Gillislee – Group: 6 | Camp: RB13
Linebacker Jelani Jenkins – Group: 9 | Camp: LB12
Linebacker Lerentee McCray – Group: 9 | Camp: LB20
Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon – Group: 1 | Camp: OL41
Tight end Jordan Reed – Group: 3 | Camp: TE15
Kicker Caleb Sturgis – Group: 1 | Camp: PK12

Notable names left off the invite list include: wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr., WR/TE Omarius Hines, DT Omar Hunter and DT Earl Okine.

Read about each player’s day-to-day schedule in Indianapolis after the jump!
Continue Reading » 10 Florida Gators invited to 2013 NFL Combine

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1/18: Dunker suspended, more Gators leave, injury updates, Sugar Bowl review, 2013 preview

Florida Gators head football coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Friday to wrap up the 2012 season, look ahead to the upcoming spring practice and discuss some of the recent changes and issues within the program.

PUNISHMENT HANDED DOWN

Muschamp announced Friday that freshman offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities pending the outcome of his legal affairs. Dunker was arrested Monday on a third-degree felony charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle as well as a second-degree misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license. He was released on his own recognizance on Thursday and claims that he paid $600 for the scooter not knowing it had been reported stolen.

“I met with Jessamen Dunker [Friday] morning. I have suspended him from all team activities until we get more information,” he said. “I just met to him face-to-face [Friday] morning for the first time for 15 minutes. Once we get a little bit more information, then we’ll move forward, but he’s suspended from the team at this time. We’ll address that further when I know more.”

THREE MORE GATORS LEAVING PROGRAM

It was also announced Friday by Muschamp that redshirt juniors wide receiver Stephen Alli and defensive lineman Kedric Johnson will both be graduating in the spring and moving on from the Florida football program.

Muschamp said that Alli plans to go to graduate school; should he remain at UF, he will have the opportunity to join the team as a graduate assistant. Johnson “may play somewhere [else] next fall,” Muschamp said, and the two are planning to discuss it.

Furthermore, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Tommy Jordan, who never stepped on the field for the Gators due to nagging shoulder problems, has applied for a medical exception to remain on scholarship but no longer play football.

CLEANING UP SOME INJURIES

Muschamp once again noted that redshirt junior right guard Jon Halapio (knee), redshirt sophomore right tackle Chaz Green (ankle) and redshirt sophomore linebacker Neiron Ball (ankle) all had scopes on their various injuries this month.

“We expect all three of those [players] to participate at some point in spring. I don’t know when that will happen, how much contact there will be. I’ll know more as we move forward,” he said.

Junior WR Solomon Patton (broken arm) is “doing really well,” according to Muschamp. He has already been cleared for non-contact work during the spring.

Additionally, sophomore punter Kyle Christy had minor shoulder surgery and will be fine for spring football. “He played pretty well with it. I don’t know why we did surgery, but they felt like he needed it,” Muschamp said.

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 1/18: Dunker suspended, more Gators leave, injury updates, Sugar Bowl review, 2013 preview

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TWO BITS: Brissett to N.C. State, Kiper’s rankings

1 » Former Florida Gators sophomore quarterback Jacoby Brissett has chosen the N.C. State Wolfpack as his new team after deciding to transfer earlier this month. CBSSports.com reporter Jeremy Fowler confirmed Brissett’s destination on Wednesday evening shortly after former Florida safety Matt Elam sent a tweet indicating that his former high school and college teammate would be heading to N.C. State.

@ElamvsElo: Ay world mark my worlds please! The NC STATE WOLFPACK WILL HAVE A HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS iSWEA..!

Brissett lost out on a high-profile quarterback battle with classmate Jeff Driskel at the start of the 2012 season. He saw limited action throughout the year and concluded the 2012 campaign 23-of-35 for 249 yards with one touchdown. He went 3-for-5 for 31 yards in the season opener against Bowling Green on Sept. 1, 6-for-8 for 64 yards and a touchdown in a relief appearance against Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 10 and 14-for-22 for 154 yards in a start against Jacksonville State on Nov. 17. Brissett visited the Wolfpack and West Virginia this past weekend and plans to enroll at N.C. State this spring. He will sit out the 2013 season per NCAA transfer rules.

2 » ESPN insider Mel Kiper, Jr. released his initial positional rankings ($) for the 2013 NFL Draft on Wednesday. In said rankings, Kiper listed five Florida players in the top-five for their respective position grouping. He ranked Matt Elam (safeties) and Caleb Sturgis (kickers) second among their peers but had Sharrif Floyd (defensive tackles), Jordan Reed (tight ends) and Jon Bostic (inside linebackers) listed fifth in their groupings. Expect to hear more from Kiper on OGGOA on Thursday as he recently evaluated Gators in the draft on a network conference call.

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Gators must replace 13 starters from 2012 team

The last time the Florida Gators saw a handful of juniors move on to the NFL Draft was the 2009 season and fans have certainly not forgotten how the team looked in the two years subsequent to those departures.

And while Florida now has four junior starters having declared for the 2013 NFL Draft to go along with the nine senior starters departing the program, the Gators are in a better position to move forward next season even if there may be a few bumps in the road.

On offense, Florida will lose five starters including left tackle Xavier Nixon (senior), left guard James Wilson (redshirt senior), running back Mike Gillislee (senior), wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. (redshirt senior) and tight end Jordan Reed (draft).

Continue Reading » Gators must replace 13 starters from 2012 team

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LB Jenkins declares for draft; DE Easley staying

A fourth member of the Florida Gators football program has decided to leave early as the school announced Monday that redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins will forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft.

“Jelani informed me that he wishes to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL,” said head coach Will Muschamp in a school release. “We wish him the best of luck and encourage him to return to Florida and complete his degree.”

Jenkins joins junior safety Matt Elam, junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed as Gators that are leaving the program with a year of eligibility in their pocket.

He took a redshirt his first year on campus but has been a permanent starter for Florida in each of the last three seasons. Multiple injuries took a toll on Jenkins in 2012 and it was widely believed that he would return to the program for his fifth year in an effort to raise his draft stock.

It is unlikely that he gets chosen on the first two days of the draft in April.

Instead, Jenkins departs after a season in which he played nine-of-13 games and registered just 29 total tackles (five for lost yardage). He also picked up two sacks on two quarterback hurries and one interception but most notably returned a blocked punt 36 yards for a game-winning touchdown against Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 10.

Jenkins totaled 182 tackles (16.5 for loss) with six sacks, three interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery from 2009-12.

Junior defensive end Dominique Easley has yet to officially announce his intentions though The Gainesville Sun‘s Pat Dooley reports that he has informed coaches that he will remain with the program for his senior season.

UPDATE: Easley officially announced his intentions via Twitter on Monday evening. “I’m comin back for my senior season we gotta get where we need to get,” he wrote.

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Gators TE Jordan Reed to enter 2013 NFL Draft

A third player has chosen to forgo his senior season of collegiate eligibility with the Florida Gators as redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed announced Friday that he has decided to enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

“I’ve enjoyed four good years at Florida, but I feel that now is the right time to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL,” said Reed in a release from the school. “I appreciate the support from all the coaches and staff here, and I’ll always be a Gator.”

Reed, Florida’s leading receiver this past season with team-highs of 45 receptions and 559 yards, joins juniors safety Matt Elam and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd as players that have decided to leave early.

Formerly a quarterback, Reed has played tight end the last two years, showing promise as a redshirt junior when he caught three touchdowns and was the team’s leading receiver in most games. For his efforts, Reed was chosen as an All-SEC selection by the Associated Press (first team) and league coaches (second team).

“It’s been a dream for all three of these players to pursue a career in the NFL and now they are all getting a chance to realize that dream,” said head coach Will Muschamp. “We are very thankful for their contributions to the Florida football program over the years and we wish them the very best of luck in the pursuit of their dreams.

“We will support them 100 percent and I look forward to them continuing to be a part of our program. I have encouraged each of them to return to Gainesville to complete their degree – as I’ve told all of our players – there will be a day when their football careers are over. Matt, Sharrif and Jordan all received high marks in the draft evaluation process.”

Junior defensive end Dominique Easley and redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins have yet to announce their intentions though it is believed both will remain with the team for the 2013 campaign.

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Matt Elam, Sharrif Floyd declare for 2013 NFL Draft

Florida Gators juniors safety Matt Elam and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd officially declared for the 2013 NFL Draft on Wednesday while in the locker room following their team’s crushing loss to the Louisville Cardinals in the 2013 Sugar Bowl.

According to media members on site at the game, both players said they had their minds made up while junior defensive end Dominique Easley and redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed each said they were undecided. Redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins is expected to remain with the team for his senior season.

Elam and Floyd will be the first Gators underclassmen to be selected by professional teams since Florida had five juniors go in the first 113 picks of the 2010 NFL Draft. Safety Will Hill left early in 2011 but went undrafted. Both players are potential first-round selections with Floyd the likeliest to go in the first 32 picks.

Second on the team in tackles with 76, Elam registered two sacks on the season and 11 total tackles for loss. He also had a team-high four interceptions and was easily the best playmaker in the Gators’ defensive backfield.

“It’s time to take care of the family,” Elam said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “[Playing in the NFL] was a dream. It was a goal. It’s a dream come true. … It’s been a great three years. I wish we could finish it better.”

Floyd, moved to his natural position on the interior of the defensive line, finished the campaign with 46 tackles including a team-high 13 for lost yardage. He also registered three sacks, six quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and two blocked kicks.

“This game made me focus on what I wanted to do,” Floyd said per the paper. “All my focus was on my team and on the season and on this game. Now it’s time to move. I got the blessings from my coaches. They felt it was best for me.”

OGGOA will update this story shortly.

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